History of Halloween

<> on October 28, 2011 in Chicago, United States.

Halloween is the season for little ghosts and goblins to take to the streets, asking for candy and scaring one another silly. Spooky stories are told around fires, scary movies appear in theaters and pumpkins are expertly (and not-so-expertly) carved into jack-o’-lanterns.

Amid the silly and scary antics, Halloween is much more than just costumes and candy; in fact, the holiday has a rich and interesting history.

Halloween, also known as All Hallows’ Eve, can be traced back about 2,000 years to a pre-Christian Celtic festival held around Nov. 1 called Samhain (pronounced “sah-win”), which means “summer’s end” in Gaelic, according to the Indo-European Etymological Dictionaries.

Because ancient records are sparse and fragmentary, the exact nature of Samhain is not fully understood, but it was an annual communal meeting at the end of the harvest year, a time to gather resources for the winter months and bring animals back from the pastures…(read more)

Source: archaelogicalnews


Book Cover of the Day: ‘The Werewolf of Paris’

werewolf-paris

About the book:

First published in 1933 and out of print for the past 40 years (except for a handsome limited edition from Centipede Press), Guy Endore’s “The Werewolf of Paris” may finally be coming into its own.

Like those other horror classics, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Bram Stoker’s Dracula,” this notorious novel doesn’t just aim for rawhead-and-bloody-bones gruesomeness. Instead, it raises all sorts of wholly modern questions about personal responsibility and the intricate relationship between sex and violence. It covers every aspect of human bestiality, whether manifested in family feuds, warfare, political revolution, clerical pedophilia, incest, cannibalism, sado-masochistic sexual practices, miscarriages of justice, or the callous abuse of the demented. There’s an old Latin tag “Man is wolf to man” — and “The Werewolf of Paris” proves its universal truth. But don’t worry, horror fans: At the book’s center lurks a shape-shifting monster who rips and devours human flesh…(read more)

The Washington Post